Ford's Latest Recall For Defective Cameras Brings Repair Costs To $270M

It affects nearly 170,000 Ford and Lincoln vehicles.

2021 Ford Bronco 2021 Ford Bronco

Ford's latest recall will cost quite a bit to fix. The automaker issued it for certain Lincoln Aviator, Ford Bronco, Lincoln Navigator, and Ford Transit models due to potential issues with the rearview camera, a problem that has plagued the automaker. It affects 169,277 vehicles, with the numerous repairs costing the company an estimated $270 million, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Affected vehicles could experience a loss of the rear camera image when the vehicle is in reverse. The issue could cause the screen to display a blue or black picture, potentially leading to a collision. The affected vehicles are certain 2020-2023 Lincoln Aviator crossovers, 2018-2021 Lincoln Navigator SUVs, 2022-2023 Ford Transit vans, and 2021 Ford Bronco SUVs.

The cause of the issue depends on the type of camera system installed in the vehicle. In some, fretting corrosion (corrosion that degrades surfaces) is forming on the internal camera connector, disrupting the image. The systems could also be suffering from manufacturing defects that misaligned the connector. In others, like the Transit, the issue is the image processing module.

In January 2023, Ford recalled 382,000 vehicles for similar rearview camera issues. That one included the Aviator, Ford Explorer, and Lincoln Corsair, which are vehicles Ford mentions in its September 1 SEC filing as part of its estimated $270 million cost. 

According to the US Department of Transportation's DataHub, Ford again leads automakers in issuing recalls. So far this year, Ford has issued 42 recalls affecting 4.6 million vehicles. Chrysler has the next highest number of recalls – 33 – involving 2.1 million models. Ford ended 2022 with the most recalls of any automaker, just as it had ended 2021. Last year, the Blue Oval had 65 campaigns for over 8.6 million vehicles.

So far this year, Ford has issued recalls for the Bronco, F-150, Escape, Expedition, and others. In July, the automaker recalled nearly 900,000 F-150s because some models could suffer sudden electric parking brake activation. In June, 125,000 Escapes, Mavericks, and Lincoln Corsairs were recalled for an increased fire risk should the engine suffer a catastrophic failure.

Ford's recall headaches also affect older models like the Lincoln MKC, which the automaker had to recall for the possibility of a fire under the hood. The company also brought specific 2004-2006 Ford Ranger pickups back to the dealer to fix previously replaced airbags that may have been incorrectly installed.

The automaker will ask owners to bring their affected vehicles to a Ford or Lincoln service center for the free repair. The company will replace affected rearview camera systems and update the image processing module software. Ford will begin notifying affected customers starting October 2.

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